Ivy Roundup: Another Aiken buzzer beater downs Yale; opposing coach says Morgan has NBA future

Harvard (13-9, 7-3 Ivy) – 88, Yale (18-5, 8-2 Ivy) – 86

In front of about 45 friends and family inside the sold-out John J. Lee Amphitheater in the Payne Whitney Gymnasium, Harvard junior Bruce Aiken went coast-to-coast and hit a pull-up fade away jumper over Yale’s Trey Phills, as the red lights on the backboards flashed, to give the Crimson an 88-86 victory over arch-rival Yale. Thus ended the six game winning streak of the Bulldogs (18-5, 8-2 Ivy), who still hold first place in the Ivy League by one game with four remaining. Harvard and Princeton are tied for second. Yale had also won 14-straight at home, going back to last year.

Alex Copeland tied the game at 86 on a three-pointer with seven seconds remaining, prompting a thunderous response from the full house home crowd. The noise level was silenced by Aiken seconds later.

Harvard made 22 points from the foul line while Yale had only 8. The Crimson was missing its top rebounder, Justin Bassey, who suffered a low right leg injury in the loss to Brown the previous night.

“That was a very, very good college basketball game,” said James Jones, coach of the Bulldogs. “The atmosphere was terrific, the play was extraordinary, especially to start. Both teams were focused and scoring the ball at a pretty high level.”

Opposing coach Tommy Amaker had praise for Yale and its coach. “I think we were really fortunate tonight to beat the best team in our league on their home floor . . . James has done a tremendous job.”
There were 10 ties and 17 lead changes.The Bulldogs raced out to an early 24-10 advantage and had the lead for 32 of the 40 minutes of game time.

Alex Copeland and Miye Oni each scored 21 points to pace Yale. Oni scored 17 in the first half but was limited to eight minutes in the second twenty because of foul trouble.
Aiken paced also highlighted with 28 points. He was 6-of-11 from the field and 13-of-15 from the free throw line.

Yale and Harvard have the same opponents to finish the regular season. Yale will face Cornell and Columbia at home next Friday and Saturday, and then go to Penn and Princeton a week later. For Harvard it’s the reverse. The Crimson first take on Penn and Princeton at home, then go on the road to Cornell and Columbia.

From a schedule standpoint, there is little to choose except that the Bulldogs are a game up. However, by virtue of their two wins over Yale, Harvard has the tie breaker if it should be necessary.

Princeton (15-8, 7-3 Ivy) – 79, Columbia (7-17, 2-8 Ivy) – 61

A pair of sophomores, Ryan Schwieger (20 Points) and Jerome Desrosiers (14 points and 10 rebounds) helped Princeton compensate for the absence of its leading scorer, Devin Cannady, in its 79-61 victory over Columbia at Jadwin Gym. Schwieger was the team’s high scorer for the second straight game after making 23 the night before against Cornell. Myles Stephens had 15 for Princeton.

Princeton scored the first eight points of the game and never trailed. Gabe Stefanini had 18 for the Lions (7-17, 2-8 Ivy).

By winning, Princeton kept pace with second place Harvard, The two are tied one game behind leader Yale. There are only four games remaining before the Ivy playoffs.

Cannady was out of action for the second straight game and, with the season winding down, there was no word when or if he would play again for the Tigers. A lot could depend on what happens Monday when the senior from Mishawaka, Indiana, is scheduled to appear in Princeton Municipal Court to answer a charge of simple assault, reduced from the original accusation of aggravated assault. His legal difficulties arose out of an arrest on January 18th involving a University police officer in an off campus convenience store.

Pennsylvania (16-10, 4-6 Ivy) – 68, Cornell (13-13, 5-5 Ivy) – 50

Defending champ Pennsylvania (16-10, 4-6) kept alive its slim hopes of returning to the Ivy League Tournament in three weeks with a 68-50 victory over Cornell, one of the two teams along with Brown that it must pass to finish in the top four.

Junior forward AJ Brodeur notched 17 points with 10 rebounds for Penn. Matt Morgan, who had 25 points for Cornell in the first match-up between the teams this season, scored 21. He received this praise from Penn’s coach, Steve Donahue:

“In all my years in the league, (he) is absolutely the best scorer that I’ve ever seen. I think he’s an NBA player.”

Cornell sophomore Jimmy Boeheim, a few days after his father of the same name was the driver in a fatal automobile accident, played for Cornell in both of its games this weekend. His father, though shaken, also assumed the coaching duties in the loss to Duke on Saturday.

Penn trailed by two at the half, but shortly after the resumption of play took the lead for good, 37-34.

Brown (17-9, 5-5 Ivy) – 68, Dartmouth (11-15, 2-8 Ivy) – 65

Brown bolstered its chances of qualifying for the Ivy League Tournament by completing a rare weekend home sweep, beating Dartmouth, 68-65, after upsetting Harvard, 88-79, on Friday. It was the first time the Bears have won consecutive league games since 2014.
Brandon Anderson scored a season-high 21 points off the bench.

Brown (17-9, 5-5 Ivy) trailed, 41-33, with 16:57 remaining, tied the score, 48-48, went in front, 50-48, and had the lead for good at 52-50. But a 2-pointer by Dartmouth’s James Foye with 1:13 left cut the lead to 60-59. Anderson then connected on four straight free throws for a 64-59 lead with 39 seconds left, enough to get home with the win.

“I’m happy with the win and proud of how we put two good nights together,” said Brown coach Mike Martin. . . We’ll enjoy this one and get ready for Columbia and Cornell next week.”

Foye had a game-high 25 points, making 9-of-14 field goals including 7-of-10 from distance.


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